Gambling involves putting something of value at risk in order to try and win something of greater value. This can include everything from scratch-off tickets to sports betting, casino games and even lotteries. In fact, the world’s legal gambling industry is estimated to be worth $10 trillion. While many people enjoy having a flutter at the races or the lottery, others can become addicted to gambling and suffer serious harm.
Harm is a broad and complex phenomenon, and it is influenced by numerous factors including personal beliefs about what constitutes ‘harm’, the complexity of defining problematic behaviour, and the fact that some harmful behaviour is caused by or interacts with comorbid mental health issues. It is therefore not surprising that different disciplines have differing views about what is considered harmful in relation to gambling.
As a result, the definition of harm is constantly changing and evolving. A review of the literature has found that a number of terms have been used to describe different types of gambling related harm. Some of the most common are:
A problem with gambling can affect a person’s relationships, their work or study life and their ability to participate in social activities. It can also impact on the financial stability of households and families. Some of the most serious harms can be long-term and even irreversible.
The first step to recovering from gambling addiction is realizing that you have a problem. This can be difficult for many people, particularly if they’ve lost large amounts of money and strained or broken relationships in the process. But, it’s important to know that you are not alone; there are a number of support services available, both in-person and online.
In addition to counselling, family and friends can be a great source of support. They can help you come up with a plan to cut back on gambling and offer encouragement as you work toward recovery. There are also peer support groups, such as Gamblers Anonymous, which is based on the 12-step model used in Alcoholics Anonymous.
It is also a good idea to start exercising, getting enough sleep and taking care of your emotional well-being. You can also make new connections with peers who are not interested in gambling, and find other ways to spend your time.
Lastly, you can practice stress reduction techniques and learn to think about your choices more objectively. This will help you avoid the “gambler’s fallacy” – thinking that you are due to have a big win and can recover your losses. While this may happen occasionally, it is not a sound strategy for making money. It’s a better idea to budget for gambling as an expense, and not consider it as a way to get rich. You can also look into self-help books and join a support group to help you overcome your gambling addiction. Good luck!